The state court system is making some moves to save money by not initiating new trials or using temporary workers during the holiday season.

“Because of the severity of the state budget situation, the judicial branch will not schedule some temporary per diem employees for work during periods that are generally slower than usual,” Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, a spokeswoman for the department said.

The cutbacks will be for three holiday weeks, Nov. 25 to 29 and Dec. 23 to Jan. 3.

Affected employees include temporary court monitors, court reporters, assistant clerks and court interpreters.

Stearley-Hebert estimated that statewide there are about 320 such temporary positions in the court system. They are hourly, per-day workers who are typically called in on an as-needed basis.

Chief Court Administrator Joseph H. Pellegrino has told state administrative judges not to initiate any new trials during these time periods.

“Trials that have been started before these time frames will continue through to conclusion,” Stearley-Hebert said. “We will continue to meet the needs of people brought to court.”

he exact number of affected employees will fluctuate based on the number needed to handle case flow, according to Stearley-Hebert.

“We won’t know until afterward how many people were affected or how much money will be saved,” she said.

The judicial branch did the same thing for just one week in August and realized a savings of $100,000.

–Associated Press